Wednesday May 14 -- Regensburg
We went through a number of locks during the night and when we awoke we were going with the flow of the river rather than against it. We had crossed the watershed during the night. We spent the morning sitting on the front deck watching the ship progress through a few more locks and taking some photos of residences high on the surrounding hillsides. We also saw our first brood of cygnets today but were not in time to take a photograph.
We ate a continental breakfast in the small lounge on the front deck, then headed for the seats right at the front of the lower us deck and sat there for most of the morning watching the world go by. However, it was very cold and windy so Heather was wrapped in a blanket for most of the time. It was nice when the sun came put now and then, but really quite cold when the sun disappeared behind the clouds.
At about 11:00 am we left the canal and entered the Danube proper. The only indication was on the kilometre markers that went from 170 (the length of the Main-Daube Canal) and suddenly changed to 2011 (the length of the Danube River from the point the canal and the river merge to the Black Sea).
Even though it was chilly, we decided to stay on the lower deck for lunch as well. Today it was bratworst sausage with crispy onion strings, sauerkraut and fries. It was tasty. We ate lunch with Carl from South Carolina. While we were eating, someone was stung by a bee and Carl was asked for advice, being a retired doctor. He is a very pleasant and soft spoken southern gentleman and it was easy to tell that he was a really good person to have as a family doctor.
We arrived in Regensburg around 2:00 and left the ship for the usual walking tour. The town claims to be among the best preserved medieval towns in Europe. Its history dates back nearly 2000 years, and the town still has a Roman gate that was built in 179 A.D. Because the city escaped bombing in the war, it still has many finely preserved medieval buildings as well as a large gothic cathedral, the Dom St. Peter, which was completed in 1525. Much of the city is preserved as a UNESCO heritage site, similar to many places that we have visited on this trip.
We spent some time in the Cathedral and walked around the city for a while. Then as it began to rain again, we stepped into the Princess Cafe for a coffee and a special local cake, known as Barbara Blomberg. We need to get the German description translated to be able to tell you what was in it!
We walked back to the ship around 5:30 and had dinner with the four folks from Montana and a couple from Texas (Lauren and Randy). After dinner, a group of 4 young people from the local opera company came on board to entertain us; three singers and a pianist. They were very good and sang for close to an hour
After the performance, we called it a day (once the regular pianist returned to the lounge; he is not very good in our opinion).